India issues Ukraine travel alert; Air India aircraft returns mid-way. As Russia prepares to launch an assault on Ukraine, the airspace above the area has been closed. In the early hours of February 24, an Air India aircraft destined for Kyiv was forced to return half way due to Ukraine’s closure of its airspace due to the continuing unrest in the country. The Air India repatriation aircraft had crossed Iranian airspace as it was attempting to return to India, and as a result, it was unable to finish the voyage to India.
The Indian embassy in Ukraine has also advised Indian nationals, particularly students, to temporarily leave the country, according to the embassy. It is expected that the relevant authorities would issue an in-depth travel advise in the near future.
Meanwhile, Ukraine has ordered the evacuation of passengers and airport personnel from Kyiv International Airport. The Ukrainian capital is located in the city of Kyiv. Flights into Russian and Belarusian border regions have also been advised against by the European Union, which has also issued a warning.
Russia had already sent a warning to aircraft in the region of northeastern Ukraine about civilian activity, prompting Ukraine to block its airspace as a precaution.
When powerful explosions can be heard in many Ukrainian towns, the Indian Embassy in Kyiv has issued a warning, encouraging individuals who are traveling towards the capital city to return to their home cities, particularly those in safer western bordering nations, rather than to the capital city itself. Ukraine has already declared a state of emergency across its territory. This implies that gatherings, movements, and political parties have been prohibited throughout the nation.
There were 182 Indians on board as the Air India repatriation aircraft touched down safely at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport.
Earlier on Tuesday, around 240 Indians were flown back from Ukraine’s capital city of Kyiv, with a total of 240 Indians on the aircraft. At the time of writing, two further flights had been planned for February 24 and February 26, but have been canceled.